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Posted by: Barbara Fox, 4 Feb 2016 6:46PM
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Indian head massage for the elderly

I have recently qualified in Indian Head Massage and would like to volunteer at my local care home. However, there are a couple of things I am unsure about. If an elderly person is unable to sign a consent form themselves, who would do it on their behalf? Would it be sensible to ask everybody wanting the treatment, regardless of contraindications, to have a GP consent form signed by their GP? Also, any advice on IHM for elder people would be very much appreciated. Thanks.


Rosemary Pharo
4 Feb 2016 8:53PM

Hi Barbara It all depends on whether your client is fully in command of their mental faculties. If, for example, the person has dementia, you may need to have consent forms signed by whoever has the enduring power of attorney for them e.g. their wife/husband or son/daughter or care worker if family are not responsible for their affairs. If they are in any case a vulnerable adult, it would be good to liaise with their care worker. If the nursing home has constant medical supervision, e.g. by staff nurses, they should be your medical guidance and in face, possibly the people who are recommending the treatment. Once permission to treat has been obtained they should be able to print off a full medical history with current medication etc which will guide you as to any contraindications that might exist for a particular client. In my experience, head massage is profoundly beneficial for elderly people - but it may take a little while and adaption for them to be comfortable having their head touched - what is comfortable one week might not be comfortable another week - you may find that a standard routine is not necessarily the right thing for them. They need to get used to you also... Beginning with the head can be quite intrusive - so have a think and be adaptable and intuitive about it.
Barbara Fox
5 Feb 2016 9:36AM

Thanks for this Rosemary, it's very helpful.
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